Our doctors are on call 24/7 and will be at the side of someone in need as quick as they can. Would you be able to help someone if they needed assistance before paramedics arrived? At home, at work or in the street? Basic first aid skills can be life-saving and this knowledge could enable you to help family members, friends or strangers.
Firstly, run the burn under cold running water for 10 minutes minimum. This helps to reduce the pain, any swelling and the risk of scarring. The longer a burn can be held under cold running water, the better the prognosis of scarring, if any, will be.
After a minimum 10 minutes of cooling, the burn area should be covered in cling film or a clean plastic bag to prevent infection. If necessary, call 999. A serious burn may require urgent medical treatment so seek medical assistance.
Should you encounter a person who has collapsed and is making jerking movements, they could be having an epileptic seizure. They could be frothing around their mouth also. In order to prevent the person from hurting themselves during the seizure, use something soft like clothing or a blanket to protect their head. Do not restrain anyone having a seizure. You must let the seizure run its course. Simply remove anything that may injure them during the seizure.
Once the seizure has ended, help the person to lie on their side and ensure their head is tilted back to help them breathe.
Remember this simple test if you suspect a stroke may be happening to someone. The F-A-S-T test is a life-saving skill.
Face – has one side of their face dropped/is it weaker?
Arms – can they raise both arms when asked?
Speech – can you understand their speech clearly?
Time – it’s time to call 999.
A stroke occurs when a blockage stops the supply of blood to the brain and these tests can determine if this has happened. Therefore fast action can really help to reduce the effects of a stroke.
If someone has an injury and is bleeding heavily, stopping or slowing the flow of blood is paramount. Put pressure on the wound to stop blood escaping. Call 999 – or ask someone else to do so. Keep pressure on the wound until medical help arrives.
If you are interested in learning more life–saving skills or refreshing your knowledge, do not hesitate to research courses near you. The British Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance offer first aid courses. Use the links below to find out more.